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ELL Shadowing as a Catalyst for Change

ELL Shadowing as a Catalyst for Change

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February 2012 | 160 pages | Corwin

Experience a day in the life of an English Language Learner

What if you could barely understand what your teacher was saying? Imagine working mostly independently and silently, with limited opportunities to interact with others. ELL shadowing helps teachers better understand the classroom experience from an English language learner's point of view. The author describes how to implement this easily accessible form of professional development, outlines specific strategies for adapting instruction to engage ELLs, and provides supporting videos on the companion website. The benefits of ELL shadowing include:

  • Increased teacher sensitivity to ELLs' school experiences
  • A heightened sense of urgency to help ELLs learn academic language and content
  • Improved classroom instruction that spreads throughout schools and districts
  • More engaged students who are more likely to stay in school and reach their potential

The text includes a detailed case study of shadowing an English language learner examples of the range of ELLs in our nation's schools. Readers will also find background on the importance of academic oral language development, the complete ELL shadowing protocol, and a guide for preparing a personalized professional learning plan for ELL instruction. We cannot and must not rest until we give every group of students the kind of education that they deserve. The time is now, and this book shows you how.

About the Author
Section I: Purpose of Shadowing
1. Creating a Sense of Urgency
2. History and Context of Shadowing
3. A Day in the Life of Josue, an English Language Learner
Section II: Research Base
4. The Role of Academic Oral Language Development
5. The Importance of Active Listening
Section III: Preparation for Shadowing
6. Preparing for a Shadowing Training
7. How to Use the Shadowing Protocol
Section IV: Debriefing the Shadowing Experience
8. Analyzing and Reflecting on the Results of Shadowing
9. Using the Results to Leverage Change
Section V: Next Steps With ELL Shadowing
10. Next Steps and Follow-up to ELL Shadowing
Appendix A: ELL Shadowing Resources
Appendix B: Academic Language Development Resources


"ELL Shadowing offers a compelling case for acknowledging and attending to the complexity of language learning in schools. With clear and specific guidelines, this book represents a significant contribution to the field of bilingual education, showing us that we need to seriously revamp how we successfully teach ELL students."

William Perez, Associate Professor of Education
Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA

“Through collecting and analyzing student data in an easy to follow, step by step process, ELL Shadowing has the potential to raise teachers’ as well as administrators’ awareness of how ELLs are being taught in their schools. I recommend considering ELL Shadowing as part of your school’s professional development program.”

Diane Staehr Fenner, President
DSF Consulting, Fairfax, VA

“The ELL Shadowing technique provides a simple way to get all educators involved in focusing on one distinct group of students. Because of its simplicity and possible connection and use with other student subgroups, it is a powerful observation tool that can become a part of any school improvement plan.”

Jennifer Paul, ELL Assessment Specialist
Bureau of Assessment & Accountability, Michigan Department of Education, Ann Arbor, MI

“This book is a great example of how focus on the academic success of English learners can influence academic success of all learners. It provides excellent strategies and tools that span grade levels and content areas, and shows schools and district leaders how to organize a system of enduring professional learning.”

Margery B. Ginsberg, Associate Professor
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Washington-Seattle, WA

"This book will change a classroom observer’s mindset forever. Student shadowing is a technique we all should learn to do, to do well, and to do frequently. The success of our students depends on it."

Guadalupe Valdes, Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor of Education
Stanford University School of Education, CA

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: Creating A Sense of Urgency

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ISBN: 9781412992060

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